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I was recently part of a discussion around the topic of utilizing video in marketing, and a question that came up which I found very interesting was “how do you figure out what’s the best visual style for a video project?”.
We’ve seen the popularity of video skyrocket over the past few years, and majority of the businesses understand how valuable this asset can be if used properly.
Picking the right video style is one of the most important aspects that needs to be considered when planning to produce a video.
This post is aimed to provide a step-by-step process to help you figure out the most suitable style for your video.
Videos are broadly categorized under two different types:
- Live action
So, we’ll start by evaluating which of these two wider categories your video could best fit in.
Once we pick between animation vs live action, we’ll look into which visual style under each category would probably be most suitable to achieve the best results.
Live action vs. animation
In order to decide amongst the two, pen down a rough outline of what the video is supposed to show.
Then ask yourself, between live action and animation, which video style would help visualize the contents of your video if the viewer was watching it with the sound turned off.
The sole reason it’s important to ask yourself the above question is because the visual component of videos hold substantial power in communicating your message.
Not to mention, most social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn auto-play videos without sound.
Hence, your video should be visually compelling as well as be able to serve its purpose even if it had no audio.
At this point, you should probably be inclining towards one style over the other. However, there are couple of other aspects that must be considered before you make your final decision.
These aspects are:
- Your target audience
- Complexity of the video content and topic
Let’s now discuss both of these factors and how they can help you determine the style of your video.
Typically, live action videos are most suitable when your target audience are adults above the ages of, let’s say, 40.
You can also consider their interests and other attributes such job roles to decide if a live action video is suitable.
For example, in my experience, senior executives tend to connect more with live action video compared to animated visuals.
Additionally, evaluating the complexity of your video will also help you in making an informed decision.
Generally, videos with less complexity are more suitable for live filming.
For example, explaining a complex product or service will most often require a lot of resources in the production, such as acting talent, locations etc. which can easily exceed your production budget.
Moreover, when you’re producing videos on complex products or topics, you’d most likely need to make changes and revisions to the video.
This can be very problematic when we’re dealing with footage that has already been shot, and there is little to no room to make changes without filming the sequence from scratch.
Animated videos typically work best with a younger target audience.
They’re also most suitable when explaining complex products, services and topics.
With animation, you have the ability to visualize pretty much anything and everything. Therefore, most tech products, services and apps which are hard to visualize in the form of filmed footage, often utilize animated explainer videos.
Unlike live action video, you have the flexibility to make updates and revisions to the video throughout the production process.
In fact, even if you make an update to your product in the future that needs to be reflected in the existing video, you’ll be able to make that adjustment easily compared to a live action video.
If you’re interested in having a video made for your business, get in touch with us. Our video strategists will be happy to help!
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Selecting a visual style
Now that you understand whether live action or animation is right for your next video project, let’s look into a few different visual styles and their effectiveness across different use cases.
Animated video with characters
These are perfect for videos that have a pronounced aspect of storytelling. Animated characters help create a connection with the audience.
If you’re looking to explain a product or service and how your consumers can use it, an animated video with characters is definitely worth considering.
Here’s an explainer we made for one of our clients. If you like what you see, check out more of our work here.
Motion graphics (Animation without characters)
A motion graphic video typically includes on-screen text combined with shapes and sometimes images.
They work really well when you’re looking to share a piece of information, especially that involves stats and figures.
Typography style promos
If you’re looking to create buzz and excitement for a product or event launch, these videos can be really effective.
Animated typography combined with video or stock imagery are carefully synced with an upbeat music track to create compelling visuals.
This style is perfect if you’re looking to cover a subject matter in detail.
They are often considered a much more compelling and engaging version of PowerPoint presentations.
Live video with talking heads
These are great for building a human connection with your audience.
For example, when producing an About Us video of your company, its important to feature team members and leadership sharing their thoughts in order to build authenticity.
Similarly, testimonial videos of clients appear much more convincing in the form of live action compared to any other format.
Although, there are countless styles and formats in which you can create video, I believe this post covers most of the commonly used and popular ones.
I hope the guide helps you in narrowing down the style that feels just right for your next video project!
If you’re new to video marketing and want some guidance on planning a video strategy for your business, then download our free ebook.
In here, we’ve laid out a practical 3-step plan that’ll help you get started.
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